How to Get Started as a Club Secretary

The Secretary is responsible for Club records and correspondence. The role involves all administrative details between the Club and Toastmasters, and keeping the club’s documents available and up-to-date. The Secretary also records and reads the meeting minutes, for both meetings of the club and of the Executive team.

What are two things I wish someone had told me when I just got into office?

  1. I wish I knew how important my job was.

I always thought being Club Secretary was an easy and not so important role. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A secretary from one club took minutes diligently at every meeting. However, she didn’t see the need to send them to everyone else. She filed them on her “Secretary” folder and at the end of her term she never got round to send me the minutes he has saved as part of the handover process.

When a club member completed his Competent Communication Project 10 (CC10), he was filled with so much excitement he forgot where he put his CC10 manual. After weeks of searching, he finally gave up the fight. We reached out to the old club Secretary to get minutes from the previous year so that we could get records for our member’s CC10. We were horrified to learn that his computer had crashed and he lost all the data. This when it dawned on me how critical my role is to the success of the club!

  1. I wish I knew how much value I could add by assisting other club executive members.

Having learned the hard way, I was quite efficient at keeping the club records. I ensured I sent out the minutes quickly and had a secure data backup. I realised that my Vice President Education (VPE) was struggling with capacity and assisted her with some aspects of her role. This was of great relief to her and she was able to serve our members with renewed resilience. Our members were motivated, they prepared their speeches and met their personal goals. As a result of this, our club was President’s Distinguished. I really made an impact by attending clubs meetings, sharing my suggestion on how to improve and supporting my VPE. I wish I knew earlier how much value I could add by assisting other team members.

I wish you all the best in your term as the 2018/19 Club Secretary. Let’s make history! #PeopleMakingHistory

Njabulo Thela

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